Cavani: I love the way Pellistri plays

Sunday 11 October 2020 14:00

In the third and final part of our world-exclusive interview with Edinson Cavani, the Uruguayan forward discusses one of his fellow new signings for Manchester United and reveals how he likes to unwind when he's not on the pitch, terrorising opposition defenders.

Scroll down to read what our new no.7 told us in part three, and to find links to part one and part two of our in-depth conversation.

You can also watch the chat in our video player below.
Watch part three of our exclusive interview with Edinson Cavani.
You’ll have another Uruguayan for company here in Facundo Pellistri – what can you tell us about him? 
"Pellistri is a young lad and I really love the way he plays the game. He’s the typical South American footballer who has that mischievous nature to his game, and the way he lives his football is a bit like, as we say in Uruguay,  being on el campito, as we call it, a makeshift pitch where you have a kickabout for fun with your mates or whoever. He’s a youngster who has a lot to learn but who has a lot to offer too. He’s already shown what he can do at Peñarol, in the games where he’s featured. I’ve liked him from the moment he made his first-team debut at Peñarol, I liked him a lot. He’s coming here to the club, without a doubt determined to learn and mature as a player, but also to make a good contribution here himself. Learning his trade here is also going to be a great experience for him. So it’s going to be good meeting up with him and travelling together on this journey in this new chapter for us both."

Ole told us he felt you were like a ‘viking’, because you are such a warrior and we know you’re like that on the field, but are you that same warrior away from the pitch? 

"I’m very calm and relaxed off the field, very laid-back. I’m a little bit calmer. On the field I love to compete and do the best I can. I don’t like losing. That’s a trait I have in everyday life, I dislike losing, but on the field when you are competing, that’s even more difficult to take. So, that’s all, I like to compete, that’s very true, but hey, I’m a good competitor, I believe. I’m one of life’s hard workers. I always say the same: I work hard in football, and I work hard in everyday life. I always try to take things and see things from that point of view."

Off the field we know Is it true you’re interested in hobbies like fishing, dog-walking, riding horses and even ballet? Tell us, what’s a day off like for Edinson Cavani?

"Well, on a day off for me, the first thing I try to do with my family is to try and go out for a walk. I really like nature, and it’s true that I like to go fishing, I like the countryside. We have dogs so that also is going to be a big change in our lives, being away from them and all our people. The pets are very good company. So I like everything to do with the countryside and wildlife. So whenever I get a day off, I try to get away from that football environment and all that comes with it on occasions."
So we can picture you out there in the fresh air, in the green spaces around Manchester…  
"Yes that’s right, we’re actually about to look for a place right now. But for now we are in a house which the club have provided while we go through our quarantine. But we’ll be looking for a property where we can have access to the countryside and enough space for when we have our pets with us. So we can enjoy what’s going to be our new life in Manchester, this new chapter in our lives. So, I’m very positive and really excited, and I can’t wait to be able to get started,  and start training and preparing at the club’s training ground, ahead of pulling on that shirt."

We’ve seen on social media that you’ve been giving it everything in training. Are you one hundred per cent ready, and at your very best fitness-wise, to get your season under way?

"Yes, I think I’m probably just missing that contact with my team-mates, and getting up to speed with, say, small-sided drills on the training ground and the intensity of a game itself. But that’s what we’re here for, to work hard, and we’re trying to do our level best so that from the moment I start training with my team-mates, I can get up to speed in as short a period as possible and be competing straight away and giving my best for the group."

With high pressing becoming such a feature in the Premier League, will this suit you nicely, given your high work-rate?
"Yes, I like the idea of the high press, and closing down the opposition in their half of the pitch. I think, for me, pressing high up can depend a lot on how teams set up, and everyone being willing and able to do it. I think the high press is a great thing to do, but I think that very soon I will have got myself to my usual level of fitness that I’ve always tried to maintain, and it will be one of the things that I’ll love to be doing here, to try to press the ball and then nick the ball back and try and get our team back on the attack."
Of course, your debut could well come in a stadium you know very well, at the Parc de Princes – what was your reaction to seeing United and Paris Saint-Germain drawn together again? 
"Yes, that’s life isn’t it, I was thinking it was just fate and how things can turn out. It’s simply incredible, things always happen for a reason, and sometimes in the most unbelievable ways. So now it’s my turn to experience one of those kind of moments that you could never imagine happening, and when you look back, they really do. But it will be a great feeling and a nice experience and it’s something that I’m very pleased about."

And coming soon in the Premier League, you could be marked very closely by Chelsea's Thiago Silva, a man you played so many games with at PSG. What will that reunion be like?
"It’ll be lovely to meet up with him again. Thiago is very professional in the way he works so hard in training and in his preparation for games. And well, it won’t be easy! It’ll be tough because he’s a very good central defender and an excellent footballer too. But that will be a nice experience as well."
You’ve signed for one season with the option of another, so what do you hope to achieve at United? 
"I think any player who is competitive by nature always wants to be able to win silverware. You always work hard so you can give the best account of yourself, and based on performing at your best, you can get the right results. Then, when you’ve picked up the right results, you can go on to win trophies and achieve big things. I’ve just joined one of the biggest clubs in the world and I think that one of the first objectives it has, as a club, is to win and be champions. For that, you have to work really hard. Like I was saying, we will work hard, and we’ll give our very best so that  game by game, we can gradually realise what we can achieve, and where we can get to. I believe that you can’t help but think that a club like Manchester United can aspire to win the title. Starting with the Premier League, and then moving on to other trophies. That’s what I would like to achieve with this club, win trophies, win titles, and then to be able to make the same impression here that I’ve always tried to make with every club I’ve played at."

Finally, do you have a message to all the fans who will be desperate to see you pull on the shirt for the first time?
"The message I’d like to give to all the fans is that I can’t wait to pull on that shirt, and go out there and represent this club and wear the shirt with pride. And that without a doubt, I’ll be doing my very best in every match, so everything goes well and I can reward the club by doing great things here."

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